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  Automotive industry news, it feels like nothing of what they say is really important but put it together and you will get the big picture before the others.

As we celebrate our nation’s independence from British rule, it’s good to ponder on all the great things this nation has done. Put a man on the moon? Check. Conquered the Nazi regime, freeing Europe from its blitzkrieg? Check. Won every Super Bowl ever played? Yep, that too. We’ve made some pretty cool stuff along the way as well, including iconic vehicles that epitomize the American way.

Our list of most patriotic vehicles covers a wide gambit yet still focuses on those that either made a difference in our past, help define our American culture, or help pull our economy back into place. They’re the ones you can imagine seeing as fireworks burst overhead with the tune of the Star Spangled Banner softly playing the background. Yeah, you’re starting to get the idea.

So without any further ado, click past the jump for TopSpeed’s list of most patriotic vehicles.

It’s no longer a secret that the 2015 Mustang is one of the most technologically advanced vehicles to come out of Detroit. It also represents huge step in Mustang history and brings many firsts to the 50-year-old pony. The sixth-gen model is the first Mustang — sans the Cobra model in years past — to gain an independent rear suspension that promises to improve its handling on both the street and track.

The new suspension will also move the Mustang closer to European competitors like the BMW M4 , an important switch now that the muscle car is ready to hit the Old Continent on official terms. What’s more, the 2015 Mustang is the first pony to adopt a more familiar look in the Ford lineup, as the company’s trademark, trapezoidal grille makes its way onto the nose.

Then there’s the 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine. Sure, this isn’t the first time a Mustang gets a turbocharged four-banger — it happened back in the 1980s too — but it comes in a era in which fuel economy and CO2 emissions are crucial in just about every market except the Middle East . And let’s not forget about the line-lock system , a gimmick that allows drivers to perform burnouts without destroying the car’s clutch. We also call this button the "warranty eliminator," as pressing it allows Ford to assume you raced the Mustang, resulting in dealers having reason to void your warranty.

As impressive as it may sound, the 2015 Mustang is set to receive even more innovative features, one of which is an industry-first on a production car.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Ford Mustang Safety Systems.

Are you interested in the wild and wooly world of car repair, but you are a little bit afraid of breaking the things you are trying to fix? Well a new video game has been released for the PC , and it looks to help. Titled Car Mechanic Simulator 2014, this game is designed to help people learn their way around general car mechanic work.

When I first heard about this game I was interested to see how they would tackle the issue of every car being built slightly different. Would this game be impossibly detailed and difficult, or would it be a generic game that would teach nothing to a novice?

The game promised a collection of cars to work on from SUVs and compact cars to vans and even off-road vehicles . I was intrigued.

I was lucky enough to grab a copy of the game and try it out. Did it teach me to be a better mechanic, or did I just get bored and delete the whole thing? Well you are going to have to keep reading to find out all my thoughts.

Read the full review of Car Mechanic Simulator 2014 after the break.

The Mercedes-Benz CLS Shooting Brake was launched in 2012, two years after the second-generation CLS Coupe arrived in dealerships. The wagon was released in a bevy of trim levels and engines, ranging from small-displacement diesels to turbocharged V-8s. Naturally, Mercedes also offered an AMG-prepped model in the shape of the CLS63 AMG . However, the CLS Shooting Brake was never on sale in the United States, although its coupe brother made it Stateside from the very beginning.

That’s not likely to change for the 2015 model year, when the facelifted Shooting Brake is scheduled to show up in dealerships around Europe and Asia. The refreshed wagon comes with slightly revised front and rear fascias, an updated interior and two brand-new engines. Although the exact same units are also offered in the 2015 CLS Coupe , which is available in the United States, don’t expect the diesels to cross the Pond anytime soon.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Mercedes CLS Shooting Brake.

The first CLS63 AMG Shooting Brake was released 2012, and for 2015, Mercedes Benz has already released a new and updated version of this pavement devouring wagon. The Shooting Brake is a wagon based on the CLS , and the 63 AMG signifies that this version has been fettled by Mercedes in-house skunk works division. It boasts more than 500 horsepower courtesy of a force-fed V-8, making it one of the most powerful five-door cars on sale in the world.

Coming into 2015 , the car sees increased luxury and technology features, and AMG also found a lot more power hiding in that 5.5-liter V-8 to make this thing even faster. Some of the upgrades include a nine-speed transmission and Multibeam LED lighting.

The CLS 63 AMG Shooting Brake was already a dramatic and exciting wagon, but with the upgrades to the 2015 model, Mercedes-Benz is making sure that no other wagon in the world can compete with what the CLS offers. Audi and Cadillac , you have just been put on notice.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Mercedes-Benz CLS63 AMG Shooting Brake.

It appears that we finally have some promising news about the condition of seven-time Formula One World Champion Michael Schumacher. In a statement from his manager, Sabine Kehm, it was announced that Michael has awoken from his medically induced coma and he has moved from the French hospital where he has spent the last several months following a skiing accident .

There have been no further details released about his condition, or where he is being moved to, and it doesn’t look like we will be getting any more information unless there is a substantial change in Michael’s condition. Sabine’s statement concluded with, "For the future we ask for understanding that his further rehabilitation will take place away from the public eye."

The family also wanted to take the time to thank each and everyone one of us, the fans, that have provided well wishes and thoughts of a successful recovery.

This news is promising, but Michael is not out of the woods yet. We wish this legendary Ferrari driver continued health and recovery.

Click past the jump to read more about Michael Schumacher’s ski accident.

Source: ESPN F1

The culture of open-source information just got a massive supporter. Tesla Motors has voluntarily revoked every patent the company previously held in the field of electric-powered vehicles, opening up other companies to use Tesla’s original ideas for free.

The unprecedented move comes as Tesla Motors’ founder and CEO Elon Musk released a statement citing his passion for zero-emissions vehicles and his belief in the growing need for such vehicles. “Given that annual new vehicle production is approaching 100 million per year and the global fleet is approximately 2 billion cars, it is impossible for Tesla to build electric cars fast enough to address the carbon crisis.”

With that, the company is now open to sharing its discoveries and innovations in developing, building, selling, and recharging electric vehicles. Well-established automakers like General Motors, Ford Motor Company, Toyota Motor Corporation, and others will now have free access to Tesla’s once-protected innovations.

Musk further elaborates in his candidly written letter that the electric car industry and eventually the world will benefit from having access to open-sourced and rapidly evolving technology.

Tesla originally held patents on its developments out of fear the large automakers would copy the technology and snuff out Tesla’s small operation. However, now that Tesla has made a such a name for itself and has a well-established (yet still rapidly growing) network of Supercharger recharging stations, that likelihood has diminished. What’s more, Musk points out that out of the 100-million vehicles produced annually, less than one percent of those are zero emissions. Thus far, Tesla’s competition seems noticeably absent.

Click past the jump to read more about Tesla’s giveaway.

2014 turned out to be a terrible year for General Motors as far as recalls go, and things aren’t likely to change very soon. With more than one million vehicles to worry about, GM is now facing another major recall, this time surrounding the current-generation Chevrolet Camaro . Not just the 2012 and 2013 model year ZL1s we reported about last week, which will have their defective superchargers replaced for free, but the entire 2010 through 2014 Camaro production line. Specifically, GM is recalling all current generation Camaros after discovering that the ignition key might move out of the "run" position if the driver bumps the key fob with his knee.

The issue may affect drivers sitting close to the steering column and could cause reduction or sudden loss of power. The condition was discovered during internal testing following GM’s huge ignition switch recall earlier this year and it is currently linked to three crashes that resulted in four minor injuries, the automaker explained in a press bulletin. However, GM stresses that this issue is unrelated to the one affecting the vehicles included in the ignition switch recall.

To fix the issue, GM will replace the current key, which is concealed in the fob and is opened by pushing a button, with one that features a standard design. The new design will make the ignition key and fob independent from each other so that any contact with the fob won’t affect the key’s position.

A total of 511,528 2010 through 2014 model year Chevrolet Camaros are affected by this recall, 464,712 of which have been sold in the United States. The remaining coupes and convertibles have been delivered to Canada and Mexico, and shipped overseas. There’s no info as to when this recall will begin, but GM will notify Camaro owners by mail as to when they can bring their vehicles into Chevrolet dealerships for repairs. The keys will be replaced at no cost to the owners, who will also receive courtesy transportation as needed.

Click past the jump to read more about GM’s Camaro recall.

Things at Jaguar Land Rover have just gotten more interesting. The British car company has just announced its own skunk works department, called Jaguar Land Rover Special Operations. The new division is charged with making high performance and ultra luxury editions of standard production Jaguar and Land Rover products on a bespoke, individual level.

Much like BMW Individual, Special Operations will build vehicles to specifications outside the normal assembly line ordering guide. Customers can order their choice of colors, interior amenities, trim packages, and add-on accessories. The shop will also handle the company’s limited-edition collectables that run with small production numbers.

Even more, Jaguar Land Rover Special Operations will work on vehicle restorations and servicing with parts gathered through salvage or recreation of specialized historic parts. The Heritage Team already has their first major project lined up. You may recall the six lightweight E-Types we reported Jaguar is building from parts left over from the 1960s.

The operation will be led by John Edwards and overseen by Dr. Ralf Speth, Jaguar Land Rover’s Chief Executive. Paul Newsome, formerly of Williams Advanced Engineering, is heading up the team of designers and engineers under Edwards. In the media statement after the jump, Speth says the new Special Operations division was created in an effort to “reinforce the global reputation of both Jaguar and Land Rover in building exciting and desirable products.”

The Special Operations division will be located in the company’s new Technical Center, located in the West Midlands area of the UK, just outside the corporate headquarters and will employ some 150 team members.

Click past the jump to read more about Jaguar Land Rover’s new Special Operations Division.

The Renault -Caterham joint venture has officially been dissolved. It was a nice plan at first, but like a lot of nice plans, this one sputtered and died before anything great could come from it. The two sides decided on an amicable split two years after joining forces on what was initially planned as the rebirth of the Alpine brand. The companies were so dedicated at one point, they went so far as to co-found Société des Automobiles Alpine Caterham with the intention of launching a pair of similarly styled sports cars by 2016.

But somewhere along the way, the relationship between the two companies disintegrated. It even came to a point where disagreements on the development of the sports cars caused significant delays. So instead of soldiering on and squashing the tensions between the two sides, both companies chose to drop the project entirely and go their separate ways.

Renault has since acquired full ownership of Société des Automobiles Alpine Caterham and dropped "Caterham" from the official company name. Both companies are moving forward in building new sports cars but will do so independently.

A lot of people, including us, are understandably disappointed that the Renault-Caterham marriage didn’t work. It really had so much promise at the beginning. The thought of a shared sports car that incorporated the Renault Alpine A110-50 Concept had a lot of people in the industry at attention, wondering what these companies could create together.

Surprisingly, there are no hard feelings, as the two brands still plan to work together through "other forms of cooperation," but it doesn’t sound as exciting as building a sports car together.

Oh, well. So much for that.

Click past the jump to read more about Renault-Caterham’s joint venture.


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